WINDHOEK - Despite the fact that many African countries spend between 20 to 25 percent of their national budgets on education, however, the quality of the outcomes of the education systems remain a serious challenge.
These were the observations by the Executive Director in the ministry of higher education, Dr Alfred van Kent who yesterday officially opened the five-day joint meeting of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) ministers responsible for education, training, science, technology and innovation.
The joint meeting aims to review the progress of the implementation of the education, training and science, technology and innovation programmes within the context of the Revised Sadc Regional Indicative Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020 and Sadc Industrialisation Strategy (2015-2063) and other relevant continental and international policy frameworks.
Van Kent said although many countries have realised the importance of science and technology for an African renaissance, only a few nations have managed to meet the target of one percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) investment in science, training and innovation.
“On the other side, we spend 20-25 percent of our national budgets in education, but the quality of the outcomes of education systems remains a challenge. It is thus my belief that we must put skills development, entrepreneurship, professionalising early child development and data analytics at the centre,” he noted.
In the Namibian context, education continues to receive the largest share of the national budget, its share increasing by almost two percent over the past few years.
According to him, Africa and Sadc, in particular, have developed many policy instruments and strategies aimed at transforming economies from resource based on knowledge-intensive industrialised economies.
These he says include Sadc industrialisation strategy; Science, training and innovation and education protocols; Sadc regional qualifications frameworks; Sadc technical and vocational education and training strategic framework 2018-2027, and the regional framework on teacher standards and competencies.
Therefore, he stated these instruments are timely and need to be implemented in a time that the region and the world are faced with slow economic growth and high levels of youth unemployment.
Due to the fact that youth constitute more than 60 percent of the population, he pointed out that this is, therefore, a serious concern.
Equally, he mentioned that although many Sadc member states have achieved milestones in the provision of education and training, there are still many areas in which nations need to improve such as the robust investment in various elements to be interrogated during the joint meeting.
The meeting will also consider key policy and strategic instruments of cooperation on regional integration in the areas of education and training, and science, technology, and innovation.
The meeting brings together more than 26 senior officials from the Sadc region.
2019-06-18 09:12:02 3 months ago